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Aug '11

Rattlesnake Lodge

This Friday’s Blueridge Parkway Hike of the Week was to Rattlesnake Lodge. It’s a 3 mi roundtrip hike to the remains of a vacation lodge built in 1904 by Dr. Chase P. Ambler. The lodge burned in 1926 and all that remains are the stone foundations of the structures. It was another perfect day for a hike and the trailhead for this one was only five miles from our house. Most of the other hikes have been south on the parkway and a good one-hour drive away. Being so close gave us extra time to have a sit-down breakfast at City Bakery rather than eating it on the run. Serena likes their bacon!

Most of our other hikes were all about the views but this one was more about the destination. There were lots of flowers and berries along the route, several mushrooms, and a few peek-a-boo views. No rattlesnakes, though.

And, why was the retreat called “Rattlesnake Lodge”? It’s because Dr. Ambler had a “thing” for rattlesnakes. The story is that while the lodge was being constructed 41 rattlesnakes were killed on the property. Dr. Amber paid $5 (a week’s wages) for each rattlesnake skin and people brought them in from miles around. Each skin was hung from the ceiling of the living room, covering it from wall to wall. Maybe that was one of those ideas that sounded good at first, but then after a while, not so much…





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